What's New: Defensive Coordinator
Well, sort of. Although Greg Blache, who is beginning his fifth season with the team, also had the title of defensive coordinator in his first four seasons with the Redskins, working with the defensive line was his primary responsibility under former assistant head coach-defense Williams. Williams, who was forced out in the coaching staff shakeup that occurred after Gibbs resigned, now runs the Jacksonville Jaguars' defense.
Williams was the leader of a defense that produced three top-10 finishes the last four seasons, but Blache, in his 23rd season in the league, played a key role in devising and implementing game plans each week.
Blache was a successful defensive coordinator for five seasons with the Chicago Bears before joining the Redskins. He is considered a good teacher, having tutored many Pro Bowl players, including Bears Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher. Intense and vocal, Blache is among the league's most intimidating coaches, players said, pushing them to achieve even more than they envision for themselves.
He also is highly respected for his knowledge and commitment to his players, which is why many in the organization are pleased Blache came back instead of retiring. Last season, Blache told colleagues he had no interest in another promotion and that he didn't plan to coach much longer, but Snyder, hoping to maintain continuity on defense, persuaded Blache to take on more responsibility.
Blache ran the Bears' defense from 1999 through 2003. In 2001, Chicago led the league in scoring defense at 12.7 points per game. Williams prefers to blitz more than Blache, but there will be only subtle differences in the scheme the team had while Williams was in charge.
-- Jason Reid